Too Capable to Surrender

Too Capable to Surrender

If you were asked to do too much too soon, take on too much responsibility at a young age – either physical responsibility such as household chores or emotional responsibility – caring for siblings, a sick parent or feeling responsible for an emotionally challenged parent, then you have most likely learnt how to be very capable indeed. You can handle anything, you can cope with stress, you don’t suffer fools gladly, you can get it all done and usually alone. Indeed, usually alone. You may be surrounded by people but the feeling is usually ‘alone’.

When we’ve been asked to do too much too soon we can hunger for the simple ability to be able to say ‘please hold me’. And yet as we approach the precipice of asking, our greatest fear arises – in surrendering to our need to be held, we may be rendered helpless, which in the midst of our fear translates into ‘incapable’.

Our usual response is to avoid the feelings as much as possible, tuck them away somewhere so that we can remain functional and very capable. Our energies are projected outwards, we almost always have a project on the go, someone to help, something to solve, we may even be busy in a personal development programme, doing therapy, healing or be on some other road to inner discovery. However, very often all of this can leave us empty handed, even disillusioned as it does not resolve the inner place of aloneness and the feeling of ‘I must do it all alone’ or ‘if I stop, I will crumble’.

The invitation here is to simply ask yourself ‘What would happen if I stopped?’, ‘What would happen if I allowed myself to be incapable?’

Very often when we’ve been asked to do too much too soon as children then our need to be capable is haunted by deep seated feelings of worthlessness. The invitation again is simply to be present with it, to stop running and ask yourself ‘What if I am worthless?’. When we face our deepest fear it begins to lose power, it is no longer the big bad monster we think it to be. When we feel stalked by worthlessness, the ever presence voice of doubt that often belies deeply hidden despair, it behoves us to stop, turn and look at it face on – this is where the magic happens. Terror can give way to tears, and tears can give way to laughter, and laughter can give way to the peace you’ve been looking for.

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